November 8, 2017


There is at least one online discussion group on Facebook for Friends in Iowa Yearly Meeting Conservative. Currently there is a lovely thread about the Advices and Queries and our corporate, historical practice of answering them throughout the year.

Every month. Every year.

I’ll want to add links [now added] and formatting to this post when I’m at a “real computer,” but for right now, I’m  wanting to share my own comment on that thread. It’s in response to a Friend asking what are the sorts of queries we ask ourselves that “pull” us into a sort of inward conviction, rather than “push” us into a semi-obligatory but non-transformative response or outward action? Well, that’s my interpretation of what was asked.

My post:

When God and I query myself during times of struggle or of spiritual desert, many times the query is “Have I experienced something like this before? If so, what helped and what hindered? Am I able to do more of what worked and avoid what didn’t?”

Another go-to query for me, especially around justice work, has been “If I am not clear on the Way forward and yet there is a clear injustice being committed [including inaction/absence of witness], where is the Way open that I might act or address the injustice?”  One Conservative-leaning Quaker friend of mine often lifts that sort of query up as “What is mine (or ours) to do?”

I also want to be explicit that these personal queries I’ve written out here seldom appear/occur/are Given to me in this manner. More often, they are Given to me as a singular piece, in my heart, wordless, until I sit long enough and they exercise me and convict me inwardly.

Along those lines, another query that rises in me from time to time is “Where do I understand that my good intentions have had harmful impacts, across race, social class, gender, ability, age, and the like? What is required of me to repair the harm and to help me avoid such behavior and transform such attitudes going forward?”

I’m also aware that queries that work for me and are Given to me may not speak to the condition of anyone else. I think that may go without saying.


PS. I once again feel a nudge to get back to blogging. This time, though, I’m letting go of “needing” to post links and the temptation to use bold and italics to make it all look pretty. I’ll be curious to see what happens this time around.

No comments: